Smart growth news- June 12, 2012

Top Stories

Echo Boomers to Shape Housing Market for Next 2 Decades
US News- June 11, 2012
When it comes to the swooning housing market, sometimes it seems only a knight in shining armor can save it, and according to some experts, that salvation could come in the form of the so-called echo boomer generation.

Rust Belt Reboot Has Downtown Cleveland Rocking
NPR- June 11, 2012
“Downtown has a new energy, a new vitality; things that we really didn’t see a few years ago,” Alexander says. It sure doesn’t sound like the place that was long the butt of jokes by late-night comics, and there are similar stories coming out of Detroit, St. Louis and Buffalo. Blue-collar towns seem to be attracting a new generation of residents looking for an affordable urban lifestyle.

The Future of Detroit
The Atlantic Cities- June 12, 2012
“If you think of a place that was close to death and is now entering into a new life, that’s Detroit. Why does that happen? Well there’s great space available, there’s affordability. But cities attract different people … Detroit is a place where anything goes. It’s a place that’s open to people.”

For TxDOT, a $2 Billion “Perception Problem”
Texas Tribune- June 11, 2012
The Texas Department of Transportation, which often argues that it lacks the money to properly maintain its network of roads, surprised many state leaders in March when it announced it had an extra $2 billion.

As in the 1800s, Bikes and Trains Could Boom Together in Florida
Transportation Nation- June 12, 2012
In central Florida the car rules. A network of wide highways link sprawling cities. But now two machines which saw their heyday in Florida more than a century ago are making a comeback: the train and the bike.

Local news

Washington-area housing prices pick up in May
Washington Examiner- June 11, 2012
Home prices in the Washington area rose 11 percent in May from a year ago, as the area’s housing market slowly but steadily recovers from rock bottom, economists said.

As rail expansion nears end, DART faces challenge: how to add riders
The Dallas Morning News (TX)- June 10, 2012
Dallas Area Rapid Transit has a problem. As it approaches its 30th birthday, the agency is about to run out of rail lines to build. And building rail lines is what DART does best.

Upstate communities can learn from Belmont, NC (NC)- June 11, 2012
It began with burying a power line and grew into a citywide renaissance. The transformation of Belmont, N.C., from declining textile town to vibrant, welcoming and walkable community was the result of careful planning and forward-thinking leadership.

Summerview Square revitalizes Main Street area of Norwalk
The Hour (CT) – June 10, 2012
Compact, walkable housing developments in neighborhoods located near transit can increase a community’s economic competitiveness, and reduce housing cost for its residents, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Smart Growth Guidelines for Sustainable Design & Development.

Interest in downtown Green Bay living grows
Green Bay Press-Gazette (WI) – June 9, 2012
As downtown Green Bay continues to move back to the future, the idea that more people would like to live downtown is increasing.

Austin City Council approaches vote on overarching growth plan (TX)- June 10, 2012
When asked why Austinites should care about a new comprehensive plan the City Council is poised to adopt, city planner Garner Stoll points to a mostly dilapidated neighborhood in Northeast Austin.

Plan-It Hennepin has high hopes for the downtown thoroughfare
Daily Planet (MN)- June 10, 2012
“We want to string together the existing pearls [on Hennepin] and add more cultural activity to make the Avenue a more inviting place,” says the website of Plan-It Hennepin, a collaboration among the Hennepin Theatre Trust, the Walker Art Center, Artspace, and the City of Minneapolis to collect ideas for the “re-invention” of Hennepin Avenue between the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the Mississippi River.

Editorial & Opinion

Oakland Tribune back in heart of town
Mercury News (CA)- June 11, 2012
When I began writing a metro column for the Tribune in 2007, the newspaper had just decamped from the historic Tribune tower to a building in the industrial park across from Oracle Arena.